By Mike Crismundo
Butuan City – At least 1, 202 employees and workers lost their jobs after a mining firm laid them off in Agusan del Norte province.
But the management of San Roque Metals, Incorporated (SRMI), which operates nickel mines in La Fraternidad, Tubay town, was quick to explain that the mass layoff was only temporary.
The SRMI management said the temporary stoppage of work will only last from January 5 to March 31 this year.
“It is due to some weather disturbance and the severe decline in prices of metals in the world market,” claimed SRMI vice president for public and media affairs Ryan Anthony B. Culima, in a text message to The Manila Bulletin on Friday.
He said the company was already closely coordinating with the Governor’s Office of Agusan del Norte, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for relief aid to the affected employees and workers.
“We are also looking the possibility to extend food for work, short livelihood programs and immediate work transfer from different line agencies of the government,” Culima said.
The SRMI official said he was optimistic that, by March this year, the prices of metals in the world market will improve, as well as the weather condition in the Caraga region, particularly in the concession area of the company.
Some of the skilled workers of the SRMI came from Luzon, Visayas and other parts in Mindanao, it was learned.
Along with line agencies of the government, Culima assured that the company was trying its best to assist the workers who were affected by the temporary stoppage of work.
Meanwhile, top officials of the regional office of the DOLE-Caraga Region 13 based here started meeting with the SMRI management on Friday to tackle the status and action plan for the affected employees and workers.